At the time of this blog, the 2 bombings at the Boston Marathon on 15 April 2013 are still considered “recent news.” After the bombings, social media was abuzz with the phrase “pray for Boston.” People from all over the world expressed that their “thoughts and prayers were with the victims of this tragedy.” Before this, people took to social media to express that they were praying for the families of the children shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (14 December 2012).
As a Christian, the phrases “pray for…” and “thoughts & prayer with the victims of…” makes sense to me. However, the remarkable thing is that the majority of these status updates were coming from non-Christians! Not just non-Christians, but non-religious people altogether! This is what did not make sense to me.
Some thoughts came to mind:
“I didn’t know this person prayed!”
“Who are these non-Christians praying to?”
“What does prayer mean to a non-Christian?”
“Are they really praying or is it just a phrase they use in times of tragedy?”
“Do they pray in times that aren’t tragedies in the life of themselves or others?”
“What are they praying for these victims?”
The thing which perplexed me the most was trying to figure out who all these non-Christians were praying to. They said who they were praying for (victims of tragedy), but who did they pray to? They make many statuses that have nothing to do with God, religion, or prayer until times of tragedy. I know these people; they don’t go to church on Sunday, read their Bible, or worship God… so who are they praying to?
Do they pray to the universe? If so, does the universe answer? Does the universe love them personally and intimately? No. The universe does not answer or love them personally because the universe is not a personal entity.
By all means, PRAY FOR THE VICTIMS OF…!
I am not being insensitive and saying not to pray. But as a Christian, it makes sense to pray because I have someone to pray to. 1 Timothy 2:5 says: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” John 14:6 says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
As a Christian I pray to God the Father, in the name of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you are not a Christian, consider who you should “pray to” the next time tragedy strikes. Also, try praying to God in a time that isn’t a tragedy. Don’t just use God as a Holy Vending Machine; rather, ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Thank Him for the fact that you have life, while you know that so many people in the world are not as blessed as you.
– Tyson Bradley